Hospital Targets

A friend recently wrote a post about breaching a hospital time and therefore became one of the statistics.

I have been in this situation to and it was for exactly the same reason why I breached a hospital target time and reduced their good statistics!!!

The press focus so much on hospitals missing targets and patients breaching the four hour time you are to spend in A and E. Like my fellow asthmatic who also breached the four hour time in A and E I am glad I did breach.

I had had a bad asthma attack at home. I had to call 999. It had hit me out the blue which are the scariest ones. I had no option but to call 999. It was such a bad attack that the first responder travelled in the ambulance to A and E with us leaving the car at my flat. We had to stop on the way for me to be given adrenaline to try and keep the attack at bay. I was also cannulated and given IV hydrocortisone in the ambulance. This normally happens once in A and E.

Arriving at A and E I was taken straight to resus and jumped on. Not literally but it felt like it. I was attacked from all angles. I had both arms grabbed for ABGs and more access, stickers stuck on me for heart monitor, clothes cut off and gown put on. It was mental. They took 1hr 30mins in resus to get me to a point where I was good enough to be moved into the HD part of the A and E. After a while I started to get worse so was moved back to resus, stabilised again and then moved back to HD. It was decided I needed to go to HDU but they didnt want to move me there until I was going to be stable enough to be transferred safely.

By the time I was moved I had been in A and E for 7 hours. 3 hours over the specified time by the government. I am so glad that there are some people who acknowledge that targets can not always be met. I would prefer to breach a target and be safe than meet a target and be unsafe.

I wish all staff would see this. During the time in A and E the bed manager/ co-ordinator came several times and asked me why I had not been moved yet and also had conversations with nurses why I had not been moved yet. If I had the puff I felt like screaming that I was not well enough, could they not see it. It felt that their need to meet targets was more important than the health and safety of their patients.

I do think that targets need to be put in place but for those patients who require resus or other major intervention to stabilise them should be exempt from the targets. There are always going to be cases which do not meet targets but they are often those who have been very unwell but not unwell enough for ITU.

People who use A and E for Anything and Everything should also not be part of the statistics because many of these people do not need to be in A and E and should wait while those who are sicker  are seen. It is nurses and Drs who are having to see people for cut fingers etc that cause the breach and targets to be missed. If these people used the service properly and as it is meant to targets wold not need to set to try and get the best out our health service.

I see this from both sides of the coin- as a patient and as a nurse. It is a real frustration and one that is never going to change unless the health service is privatised but then as a patient privatisation of the health service would probably see me not being able to sustain my health and I would be in a worse state than I am.

It is a really tricky balance and no quick fix. But one thing I do know is that I am glad I breached the targets to ensure my own safety. If this were to happen again due to my health I wouldn’t complain.

You only get one life at the end of the day.

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